03 January 2012

Because toe jam is not, in any country, considered a delicacy

I have been, quite possibly on more than one occasion (a-hem), guilty of speaking too hastily into a situation that I understand imperfectly. The foot-in-mouth aftertaste is not one that I particularly savor, especially when compounded by the concern that my ill-considered words may have inadvertently added to another’s misery.

Tasty in infancy, but rarely thereafter.

You, dear readers, are doubtless always more circumspect with your words. So you will nod with immediate, sage recognition when I record, for posterity, this thing that is always and forever, without exception, The Wrong Thing to say. I sadly suspect that perhaps some of you, like me, have been on the receiving end of variations on this theme.

Woman A: Congratulations! How are you feeling?

Woman B: Well, you know, pretty bad. Can’t keep anything down, to the point that I might have to go on anti-emetics again; and I’ve got to be careful about dehydration.

Woman A: Oh, I always feel really sick when I’m pregnant too. [Wait for it…..wait for it….] But I just really hate throwing up, so I always manage not to get to the point of actually puking.

Woman B: Smiles weakly and creeps off to sip some Gatorade, hoping against hope that it stays down this time.

What you all immediately see here, of course, is that Woman A, however inadvertently, is implying one or both of the following:

1) Woman B doesn’t really hate throwing up. Hey, maybe she thinks it’s kind of fun!
2) Woman B is weak-minded or weak-willed; if only she were tougher she could control her bile rather than vice versa.

Now, it may well be that God gifted me with morning sickness to save me from the worse offense of being Woman A. Back when I got pregnant with BabyOne, morning sickness wasn’t even on my radar. I had at that time just a couple friends who’d been pregnant, and they lived far away. If ever I thought of morning sickness, it had a vague and Victorian association in my mind, like something associated with hand-on-forehead fainting spells and remedied with smelling salts. Certainly it was not something that would ever happen to me. I was Healthy and Strong!

Then, WHAM! I woke up puking one morning, and didn’t stop, round the clock, for months. I tried every weird remedy suggested by anyone and her mother’s third cousin, to no avail. By week 17 of that first pregnancy I was five pounds under my prepregnancy weight. So much for tough. And I’ve learned my lesson: unless you know what it is to be always scoping out the nearest restrooms and receptacles on the occasions when you must venture away from your own dear porcelain fixture; unless you know what it is to carry a bag in your pocket so that you don’t disgrace yourself by throwing up on a totally inappropriate surface if no toilet, garbage can, or bush is handy enough; the only words you should venture to offer to an emetic woman are those of deep sympathy.

Now. Lest we sometime hyper-emetics start feeling a sick (haha) sort of reverse pride in our barf badges, and be tempted to look with scorn upon those whose “only” complaint is nausea: I have also had a pregnancy in which the vomiting was miserable and bothersome, but not excessive or health-threatening. Yet nausea there was a-plenty—and at times it flattened me as effectively as the constant vomiting had. This too, I would not have comprehended, had I not experienced it. I would have been another version of Woman A, chirping, “Oh, I always feel sick too. But life must go on! I’m too busy just to lie uselessly on the floor wishing for death!”

Which brings me to my next point: Hey, people, rejoice with me! I’m puking again! And, you know, I have a ray of hope to offer those of you who may fear, after several rough pregnancies, that ‘twill ever be thus: this is the least sick I’ve been in a (Lord willing) viable pregnancy. I’m miserable, but in many important respects functional. Not that the household and the homeschooling and the whatnots haven’t suffered—but I do not take for granted this ability to remain mostly upright at least for the children’s waking hours. And I earnestly wish for those of you who through wretched experience fear the first months of pregnancy more than L&D, that you may also one day enjoy such reprieve!

26 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Congrats, Reb. Mary! :)
As one who frequently puts her foot in her mouth (especially while trying to be friendly), I can totally relate to this post! Thanks!

Untamed Shrew said...

Oh, goodie! The baby ticker is back!

Oh, Woman B, I do not envy you. And please do not envy me, for I am Woman C. Surely Woman C 1) doesn't really mind gaining 60-80 pounds, or 2) lacks the will power to only gain half that amount like everyone else.

Christ strengthen you for the task ahead.

HappyFox said...

Congratulations, Reb. Mary!

And, what Untamed Shrew said. :)

Bonnie

Rebekah said...

Would it be too obvious to say I don't know how you do it? Forsooth, I do not. God be with you, friend.

Cathy said...

Congratulations, and God's peace to you. I didn't get as bad as you did, but bad enough to "lie uselessly on the floor wishing for death.” For months. Every.Single.Time. It is too miserable for words and I wouldn't wish it on a dog I didn't like. May you have Thanks for the reminder to be merciful.

Cathy said...

Oops, I meant, may you have a better time of it this time, if at all possible.

Ewe said...

I was so sick during my first pregnancy that I was hospitalized for about a week with "just" morning sickness. Each pregnancy I learned to cope a little better so I never had to be hospitalized with morning sickness again, but I was still really sick for several months, not just one trimester like the pregnancy books say.
I was talking to a friend that was also a woman B, but she assumed that I was a woman A. She was not planning on having any more children after two pregnancies of being woman B. She was shocked that I had 3 and wished for more even after being hospitalized with morning sickness. I was glad to see that she is due with baby #3 after we had that conversation. :)
What got me through all the puking was knowing there were women that would give anything to be puking if it meant that they could finally have a baby. And now I'm one of those women that would take all the puking again if I could have another one.
Congratulations on being sick! When you get mostly better have some preggie drops, but it sounds like you're not at that point yet.

Gauntlets said...

I do fear the first months of pregnancy more than L&D. Here I thought I was made of crazy. Anyway thanks for the hope. There it goes, springing eternal. :D

xoxo to the baby. Don't make Mom sick, Baby! Good Baby.

Louise said...

Congratulations!

Joy said...

Every day of October, November, and December I thought to myself, 'Labor and birth are nowhere near this horrendous'. Hallelujah it is now January and I can care for my family most days! My favorite well-meaning comment besides 'Wow, you look horribly pale!' has been 'I don't really remember ever being sick while pregnant. I guess I was always just too busy to notice! I had several other kids to take care of, you know.'

Katy said...

I love the announcements on this blog.

Congratulations!

(And my husband is A, when he has the flu, that is. Frozen in miserable nausea for fear of vomiting. I come from a family of gaggers, who like to get it over with. Too bad morning sickness isn't cured by gagging. I hope your sickness is manageable and delivery safe)

etem said...

congratulations!
i never knew there were so many people who never had a hint of morning sickness until i was horribly sick with my first baby. then i found there were even more of them when i was horribly sick with my second. stay unsick!

Lucy said...

Congratulations! Each pregnancy = a new and wildly different perspective on how to bake a baby.

Melrose said...

Congratulations Reb. Mary! May our Lord bless and keep you and your little one unto the font. Prayers ascending until that day!

Leah said...

I feel for you, oh do I feel for you. I shudder even thinking of the first three months of pregnancy. The worst. Much worse than L&D. It's the cumulative effect I think - day after day after week after month, saying I can't take one more day of this! But I wake up and it's another day and I HAVE TO LIVE IT. Sob.

God's peace to you, and I know you've heard it many times, but "this too shall pass." Hope that's not a Woman A comment. It only helped me when I told it to myself I guess. Although I never believed myself at the time. Every day seemed like a lifeage. Oh well. :(

Congratulations all the same! Happy news indeed!

Jane said...

Congratulations.

Rachel said...

God's blessings to you and this precious new life!


Thank you for this post. Once again a good reminder that when in doubt, saying nothing with a kind smile is best.

MooreMama said...

Oh, Yay! Congratulations!

Aubri said...

I thought I was pregnant a couple weeks ago, turned out to just be the Flu! :)

Praise be to God for your new blessing!

Jody S. said...

Congratulations!

I am one of those blessed with constant nausea. After two pregnancies that ended in miscarriage and during which I experienced so little nausea that I was mostly functional, I tell myself, "This is a good thing, really it is." And I try really hard to believe it.

May you soon see the day when you no longer fear your toothbrush. (I mean, we have to at least TRY to brush our teeth once a day, right?)

Reb. Mary said...

Thanks, everyone. You guys are all so great :)

Reb. Mary said...

Shrew, it really is just out of our control, isn't it? Sigh...

Ewe, I too remind myself of how many women would gladly pay this price if only it meant a baby. And of how many chemo patients endure such nausea not for the nurturing of new life, but in an ending-unknown fight for their own. May the strange grace of morning sickness be granted to you again one day, according to God's good will and timing!

Reb. Mary said...

Aubri, ha! The other day I was longing desperately for the flu. It's so...finite. (I was also wondering how I'd know whether I had it...) :P

Consecutive Odds said...

Yay! Congratulations!

Emommy said...

Hurrah for another blessed life! And many, many prayers for that little life and for your daily cross of morning sickness. I heard once that Paul's thorn in the flesh was some chronic disease; for some women, I think our thorn in the flesh is facing a day with the paradoxical reality of terrific joy for a child given to us and horrible physical suffering that accompanies bearing that child. God go with you!

Marie said...

So glad you share in your happy news! May God keep you both in His everlasting care!